What Kind of High Should You Expect with Smoking Weed vs Edibles vs Vapes?

Marijuana is one of the most consumed products in the world. It can be smoked, vaped, dabbed, eaten as edibles, or absorbed sublingually. The reason there are so many ways to ingest marijuana is to try and accommodate everyone. Individuals who find smoking harsh to their throat or lungs can vape or take edibles; anyone looking for discretion can try edibles or vapes and many other preferences.

The big question, however, is how the high differs with each method. What kind of high should you expect with smoking weed vs. edibles vs. vapes? Let’s find out below…

Is there a Difference?

Yes and No. Let us explain…

If you are taking Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid products, the effects will remain true to the genetics of the product. Sativas will give you a cerebral high. Indicas will provide a relaxing body high. Hybrids will provide you with both head and body highs in varying degrees depending on the dominant genes.

What differs is the overall experience each method of consumption offers. The bioavailability, onset, intensity of the high, and duration of the high will vary for each method.


Bioavailability refers to the percentage of a substance, in this case, the weed, that reaches the systemic function. Vaping has the highest bioavailability. Vaping sends vapor straight to the lungs, which directly reaches the brain.

Smoking has the second-highest bioavailability, and edibles take the last spot. With edibles, the consumer has to wait for digestion and metabolism to occur before the weed is present in the system. Only a fraction of the weed in edibles makes it to the brain.

Onset of Effects

As hinted above, vaping delivers the weed instantly to the brain. The onset of the effects takes 2 to 10 minutes. The consumer can stop vaping when the effects become overwhelming.

Smoking is similar to vaping. The user can tell in real-time how the substance affects them and pause or stop when they reach their ideal ‘high.’ The onset of effects while smoking is 5 to 20 minutes.

It takes edibles longer for the effects to appear, usually between 30 minutes and two hours. The delay may cause some people to take more edibles. Still, we strongly discourage it since it may lead to overconsumption and adverse side effects such as paranoia, dizziness, and anxiety.

The Intensity of the High and the Duration

When vaping, consumers inhale vapor and not smoke, which means they ingest a higher concentration of active compounds. The ‘high’ is cleaner, more intense, and stays at its peak for one to three hours. The effects last up to 8 hours.

Smoking involves combusting the bud/flower of cannabis. The high temperatures destroy some of the compounds, thus lowering the intensity of the effects. A consumer will need around 3 times an amount used in vaping to achieve the same ‘high.’ The effects peak for 1 to 3 hours. It takes 8 hours for the effects to subside.

The onset for edibles might be slow, but they hit harder and for longer. The effects peak for 4 hours and last for nearly 12 hours. The residual effects can last 24 hours.  

Take away

Smoking weed, eating cannabis edibles, and vaping cannabis deliver either a cerebral high or a body high, or both depending on the genetics of their contents. What differs is the intensity, duration, and overall experience each offers. Each of these methods of consumption is ideal for different types of people.

If you are looking for a method that suits your preference, we recommend trying all of them then deciding which one works for you.

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